During his tenure at UNC-CH, Dean Small was active in numerous activities and programs with faculty, students and staff and received various awards and recognitions, including Appreciation Awards from the SPH Minority Student Caucus (in 1973, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1990, 1993, and 1996) and an Outstanding Service Award from the SPH Student Body in 1984. In 1984 he was appointed to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission by Governor James B. Hunt for a four-year term. At the University level, Dean Small was recognized as Student Organization Advisor of the Year for 1992-93 and received the Harvey Elliot Beech Award from the UNC Black Alumni in September 1993 for outstanding achievement by a UNC-CH alumnus. In April 1999, Dean Small was honored with the C. Knox Massey Award, including a $5,000 honorarium, for Unusual, Meritorious, and Superior Service to the University of North Carolina. Nationally, he was recognized by the Black Caucus of Health Workers of the American Public Health Association with the Award for Outstanding Health Service to the Minority Community at its Annual meeting in 1990.
For several years, Dean Small served as visiting professor at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and St. Augustine’s College (Raleigh). Dean Small and the late Roamless Hudson, a colleague at St. Augustine’s and fellow SPH alumnus, established what became the first undergraduate program in industrial hygiene and safety at a historically black institution of higher learning. Dean Small maintains an active role in local community health issues, serving as vice-chairman of the Durham County Board of Health and on the Board of an organization dedicated to serving homeless individuals and families in Durham County, Housing for New Hope.
Presently, Dean Small is a faculty member in the Department of Health Education at NCCU where he teaches courses in personal health and environmental health and coordinates the Minority Aging Project. He also serves as assistant golf coach at NCCU in the Department of Athletics. He and his wife Rosa are the parents of two adult daughters.